Just a Box of Games, Box 2

This second box of games took a little longer than the first. Lots of little things, stuff mixed together, well, you’ll see.

Traveller 15mm lead miniatures
Martian Metals, 1980-82
Obviously, I never did much of anything with these. Too small, for one, and our Traveller games never really seemed to need them.
(left to right, bottom to top)

2002 Adventurers #2, 12 assorted fig.
2005 Imperial Marines (Tech Level 13-15)
2007 Troopers (Tech Level 8-10)
2003 Thugs & Ruffians, 12 assorted fig.

2005 Imperial Marines (Tech Level 13-15)
2001 Adventurers #1, 12 assorted fig.
2009 Vargyr (Tech Level 8-10)
2013 Zhodani (Military TL 12-13) (circa 1040)

2011 Mercenaries, 12 assorted fig.
2014 Aslan (Military TL 9-12)
2012 Patrons, 12 assorted fig.
2017 K’kree (Military TL 12)

2020 Sword Worlds (Military TL 9-12)
2018 K’kree (Military TL 10-12) Vacc Suit
2019 Zhodani (Military TL 12-14)
2017 K’kree (Military TL 12)

ADDENDUM: Within a year after I posted this in 2013, I was contacted by an airline pilot who was interested in buying all my Traveller miniatures to use for playing with his kids. They’d been sitting in the box for 30 years, we made a deal that was about $5 a pack, and I happily shipped them off to Hawaii. Earlier this year, I was listening to an old episode of The Grognard Files Grogpod where they were discussing old miniatures and their prices, and some of the Traveller packs were going for $50 to $75. I just keep telling myself to think of the kids.

Starline 2000 Miniatures for Starfleet Battles
Task Force Games, 1982
I always thought it would be cool to do spaceship battles with miniatures, but we never really got around to it. RPGs and board games sort of stole our time.
(left to right, bottom to top)

7013 Federation CL (light cruiser, lead)
7043 Klingon D-7 Battle Cruiser (lead,
mislabeled as 7200 Small Freighter)

7081 Gorn CA (heavy cruiser, lead)
7141 Hydran Ranger (lead)
7011 Federation CA (heavy cruiser, plastic)

Avalon Hill, 1982
This game was pretty enjoyable, if a little slow for a gun duel/battle. An innovative card-based action system and quality components (including counters that could snap back into the sheet for storage) make me want to drag it out to a game night somewhere.

James Bond 007 Basic Set
Victory Games, 1983
An attempt to cash in on the RPG fad with a non-fantastic (well, a little fantastic) plotline set in the current day. Victory Games was a division of Avalon Hill. TSR had a spy system, as well: TOP SECRET. Not sure how successful either of them were; I know this one didn’t get much use.

Call of Cthulhu, Cthulhu Companion,
and Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
Chaosium, 1981-1983
You had me at evil creatures
from the Nameless Beyond.
Cthulhu came around as most of my RPG friends were trailing off into other pursuits, or I’d have spent more time with this series.

Elric: Battle at the End of Time
Chaosium, 1981
An Elric board game! It must have seemed like an exciting idea when I bought it.

3M, 1966
I don’t know when this edition was published, but it was an entertaining little board game that included actual rocks in one of the bags. Supposedly based on an old Egyptian game, it has a number of variants, but the basic idea (if I remember it correctly)is that you drop rocks in the pits one-by-one, capturing the stones in the last pit. Or something like that.

Ace of Aces, Handy Rotary Series and
Ace of Aces, Flying Machines

Aldred Leonardi, 1980 and Nova Games, 1982
The things we had to do in the pre-computer gaming era. It’s not that there weren’t computers (and computer games have been around from about minute 1 of the computer age) but as your grandparents will tell you over and over, they were nowhere near as prevalent. Ace of Aces was a revolutionary concept that was the closest thing to a PSP2 flying game as you could get at the time. Each player had a book (books in the Handy Rotary Series were the Sopwith Camel and Fokker DR1; Flying Machines were the Airco DH2 and Fokker E III), they started on a pre-determined page, then made maneuvers on a maneuver chart at the bottom of the page. The books were cross-indexed so that an intermediate step would put each player on the same page number in their respective books, with views of their relative positions. A pretty fast, fun play. Nova Games went on to do some hand-to-hand fantasy combat books with the same sort of structure.

Pig Mania
David Moffat, 1977
They’re like dice, only they’re pigs. Various points awarded for particular configurations of touching pig dice.

Starship Duel II: USS Reliant v Klingon L-9
FASA, 1984
A rather blatant attempt to turn the success of Ace of Aces into a Star Trek-inspired spaceship battle. They couldn’t copy the patented system of AofA, and their attempt to solve the problem with technology (just get a computer, already!) just made it clunkier.

Phoenix Games, 1980
I was fascinated by all things Japanese in the late ’70s. In fact, the whole country seemed to be a little Japan-crazy. I don’t know if it was James Clavell’s book Shogun that started it (the movie starring Richard Chamberlain was released in 1980) or if it just rode a wave of Japan awareness that washed across the country like a fleet of import cars, but I wasn’t alone in my interest and Bushido made some inroads into our game world. You can just about see the box for one edition of the game in the photo accompanying this article.

Autoduel Quarterly
Steve Jackson Games, 1983-87
I owe a huge debt to Steve Jackson, whose games were both entertainment and inspiration to me. We played a lot of Car Wars, which hit right around the time of the Road Warrior film (though it had plenty of other antecedents). I was enough of a fan that the letters page of the very first issue of the Car Wars magazine Autoduel Quarterly was kicked off by yours truly.

Vol. 1, No. 1
Vol. 1, No. 2
Vol. 1, No. 3
Vol. 1, No. 4
Vol. 2, No. 1
Vol. 2, No. 2
Vol. 2, No. 3
Vol. 2, No. 4
Vol. 3, No. 1
Vol. 3, No. 2
Vol. 3, No. 3
Vol. 5, No. 2

Taincraft, 1980 (board and counters),
Wm. F. Drueke & Sons, Inc., 1951 (rulebook)
Despite the interest in Japanese culture, go just never took off in our little circle.

Autoduel Champions and
Autoduel Champions Cardboard Heroes

Steve Jackson Games, 1983
Crossover rules between Car Wars and Hero Games’ Champions RPG, the Cardboard Heroes counters for the game were twice the dimensions of the regular counters for Car Wars.

Illuminati Expansion Set #1and
Illuminati Expansion Set #2
Steve Jackson Games, 1983
More about these later.

The Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1979, 1983
No. 2, No. 3, No. 15
The official magazine of GDW’s
Traveller RPG.

Uncle Albert’s Auto Stop & Gunnery Shop, 2035 Catalog
Steve Jackson Games, 1985
Issues of Autoduel Quarterly had fake ads for Uncle Albert’s, featuring new weapons and accessories you could add to your vehicles. The Catalog collected a lot of them into one place and added some more.

The AADA Vehicle Guide
Steve Jackson Games, 1984
A catalog of vehicle designs for people who didn’t want to go through the trouble of designing their own, and inspirations for those who did.

Car Wars Expansion Set #4, Armadillo Autoduel Arena
Steve Jackson Games, 1983
Maps only. There’s more coming up.

Car Wars Reference Screen
Steve Jackson Games, 1983
Classic Dungeonmaster screen.

Car Wars Expansion Set #7, Off-Road Duelling
Steve Jackson Games, 1985
Big color maps and rules for the mud.

Sunday Drivers
Steve Jackson Games, 1982
The first of the Car Wars expansions, before they began numbering them, this was a set of maps covering part of the town of Midville.

Car Wars
Steve Jackson Games, 1981-83
This represents several of the first editions of Car Wars, which originally appeared as a thin, stapled rulebook and a slick fold-out sheet, along with some cardboard counters which had to be cut apart, all in a ziplock baggie. One panel of the sheet served as the “cover” image for the game. Road sections and charts were printed on other sheet panels, which led to them being cut apart. There are two early plastic boxed versions: the first with tabs for the closure mechanism and the second with a simpler (less prone to fatigue) snap mechanism, which also bears a sticker for awards from Origins and OMNI (1982) and GAMES (1983).

Car Wars Expansion Set #1
Steve Jackson Games, 1983
Road sections and counter sheets. Shown are one of the road section foldouts and the display card.

Car Wars Expansion Set #2

Steve Jackson Games, 1983
More counters and a turning key. Display card shown.

Car Wars Expansion Set #3, East Midville,
Steve Jackson Games, 1983
Maps, counters, and scenarios to expand the Sunday Drivers expansion. Is your mind expanded yet? Display card shown.

Car Wars Expansion Set #4, Armadillo Autoduel Arena
Steve Jackson Games, 1983
Maps and counters for a stadium. Display card shown.

Sunday Drivers
Steve Jackson Games, 1982
Rulebook for the original expansion.

Truck Stop
Steve Jackson Games, 1983
Counters and map for big-wheelers. Rulebook shown.

Car Wars Expansion Set #6, The AADA Vehicle Guide Counters
Steve Jackson Games, 1984
Cardboard counters to accompany the AADA Vehicle Guide.

Cardboard Heroes, Traveller Set 3: Zhodani
Steve Jackson Games, 1983
15mm cardboard characters.

Car Wars counters
Steve Jackson Games, 1981-1985

Car Wars Expansion Set #2
Steve Jackson Games, 1983
turning keys

Cardboard Heroes, Cops, Crooks & Civilians
Steve Jackson Games, 1982

Cardboard Heroes, Traveller Set 2: Imperial Marines
Steve Jackson Games, 1982

assorted miniatures
including Ral Partha, Steve Jackson Games, and Martian Metals, various dates

6207 Cycles, Steve Jackson Games, 1983
6209 Sidecars & Turrets, Steve Jackson Games, 1983
2200 Air/Raft, Martian Metals, year unknown
Among the items in there are a mounted figure inspired by a Frazetta painting, a Balrog, a bunch of ‘John Carter of Mars’ figures including a couple Tharks, some wizards, hobbits, and ‘Lord of the Rings’ Guard of the Citadel.

assorted miniatures

including Ral Partha, Steve Jackson Games, and Martian Metals, various dates

Dragonslayer dragon, Martian Metals, 1981
tie-in with the movie (missing foil provided for wing membrane)

Just a Box of Games, Box 1

I’ve got a lot of games. More specifically, I’ve got a lot of old games. Mostly not ones you’ve likely heard of, unless you were hanging around game shops that sold something a little beyond Monopoly and backgammon sets back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Most of this stuff has been sitting in boxes or containers of one sort or another for nearly thirty years. I had to root around in them a little for some research on my (disastrous) Ignite presentation back in the early fall, and I realized there was some personal stuff——both game-related and not—mixed up in there that I wanted to sort through. In the process, I figured I might as well catalog some of the material. So here’s the first box.

Boots & Saddles: Air Cavalry in the 80’s
Game Designers’ Wordshop, 1984
Lots of these ‘Russian-tanks-pouring-through-the-Fulda-Gap’ scenarios made it to wargames back in the Reagan years.

Tunnels & Trolls, 5th ed.
Flying Buffalo Inc., 1979
Nearly pristine copy because my friends and I were already D&D players and the last thing we needed was another fantasy RPG. They did helpfully provide a pencil for players without one.

Twilight: 2000 and The Free City of Krakow
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1985
A world where RPG also means ordnance and “twilight” has nothing to do with vampires. More post-apocalyptic scenarios from the ’80s. Krakow is a scenario for TW:2000; the box is full of computer-generatednon-player characters and some competing Morrow Project stuff, the manuals appear to be elsewhere.

Federation Space
Task ForceGames, 1981
How down and out was the Star Trek franchise in the late 1970s? So far down that a minor company like TFG could get the rights to the license for board games, most notablyStar Fleet Battles, which has been revived under a different publisher.

Western Desert: The Campaign in Egypt and Libya, 1940-43
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1983
Number seven in GDW’s Europa series of WWII games, it featured huge foldout maps and never really got played.

Lakeside Games, 1978
More of a mass-market game than most of the others here, Duell is a sort of chess/dice hybrid.

Triplanetary (2nd ed.)
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1981
Apparently based on one of GDW’s first designs from the early ’70s, it was wildly optimistic about when we’d get done kicking Soviet patootie in Germany (Booth & Saddles) and start the space wars (see also, Twilight: 2000). You get to draw to draw on the map!

Game Designers’ Workshop, 1977
Once we’ve moved on from war in Europe and the solar system, on to the galaxy! This came out the same year as Star Wars, not sure whether the cruiser in the box art indicates before or after the movie.

Fifth Frontier War: Battles for the Spinward Marches

Game Designers’ Workshop, 1981
A tie-in with the Traveller RPG universe, I don’t remember specifics about this game, and the only thing in the box was the map.

Bloodtree Rebellion
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1979
One of those games that sat on the shelves of the game shop (along with Triplanetary and Imperium) for years without anyone buying them. I’ve got copies, though.

Azhanti High Lightning
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1980
A major adventure package for Traveller, with a stack of big multi-colored maps for each level of an enormous ship (some levels were identical, natch). Dungeons in Space!

Game Designers’ Workshop, 1979
Close combat rules for Traveller that included a small spaceship map. Missing box; inside Azhanti High Lighting (which used the same basic combat system).

Double Star
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1979
Another space game from GDW that tried to capitalize on the Star Wars buzz of the late ’70s and the early success of their Traveller RPG (without actually being a part of the same universe). Also sat on the shelf.

Avalon Hill, 1977
The three hard-board foldout maps are completely featureless, it’s just ocean, ocean, ocean in a game much more complex (and slower) than Battleship.

That’s it for the first box. Believe me, I do have something other than GDW games in the others. And there are quite a few of them.